2019 Shrine Game Breakdown - Defense

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VimSince03
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2019 Shrine Game Breakdown - Defense

Post by VimSince03 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:23 am

Defensive Tackles

Selections

East: Nick Konesky (CMR) - 6'0", 245 lbs.
East: Sam Potoczny (Great Falls High) - 6'3", 245 lbs.
East: Tariq Essa (Ernest Manning, Canada) - 6'6", 285 lbs.
East: Connor Paul (Billings West) - 6'1", 250 lbs.
East: Walker Heckman (Fairfield) - 6'1", 270 lbs.
West: Garrett Brown (Corvallis) - 6'3", 275 lbs.
West: Mike Graves (Hamilton) - 6'5", 250 lbs.
West: Nic Smeiler (St. Francis, Canada) - 5'11", 295 lbs.
West: Kane Hess (Drummond/Philipsburg) - 5'10", 180 lbs.


ADVANTAGE:

I included Connor Paul and Walker Heckman on the offensive list but they are currently slated to play defensive line with two All-State Great Falls kids (Nick Konesky and Sam Potoczny) and Tariq Essa of Canada. Konesky is a great athlete for his size and has the ability to play the 3 or 1 tech spots. Potoczny is not the best athlete but is a high effort, strong lineman with a mean streak. Sam is also a candidate to get some playing time on the offensive line. Tariq Essa is a massive kid (Canada really doesn't screw around in who the bring down to this game) who I actually liked more at guard than nose tackle based off his film. But he will be a rock in the middle of that East front seven (which will be very good). Obviously, Garrison Poetzl would have been the star of the defensive line group but he declined to play as he is likely still recovering from his torn ACL last fall...or he just declined to play to instead join the Griz for summer workouts as Ryan Lonergan chose to do.

The West is led two Southwestern A All-Staters in Garrett Brown and Mike Graves. They are joined by 5'10", 180 lb. nose guard Kane Hess of Drummond/Philipsburg (yes he will be lining up inside at that size) and Nick Smeiler of Canada (a stout 5'11", 195 lb. tackle). Brown and Graves are good athletes for their size and both can get after it in stopping the run. Schmeiler will be tough to move off the block. And Kane is possibly the strongest player on the West roster per his size. He may play some end but I think he will be playing on the interior. His quickness off the snap makes him hard to block as he makes a ton of plays in the backfield. Graves primarily lined up at defensive end in high school so he gives the West some flexibility.

Only Paul and Brown made my Top 50 but kids like Graves, Konesky, and Heckman were not far behind. Hess brings down the West's total weight average but both interior defensive lines have formidable size. If Paul and Heckman play on defense (which they are currently slated to do), I see the East edging out the West in this matchup. There is just a little more athleticism on the East side.

Advantage: East
Last edited by VimSince03 on Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: 2019 Shrine Game Breakdown - Defense

Post by VimSince03 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:27 am

Defensive Ends

Selections

East: Bryce Depping (CMR) - 6'3", 220 lbs.
East: Ely Kraft (Laurel) - 6'0", 205 lbs.
East: Chance Larson (Wibaux) - 6'2", 200 lbs.
East: Derek Simmons (Fairfield) - 6'1", 200 lbs.
East: Ryan Wyman (Sidney) - 6'2", 205 lbs.
West: Alaric Greil (Helena Capital) - 6'3", 240 lbs.
West: Zack Pletcher (Columbia Falls) - 6'3", 215 lbs.
West: Rylan Waananen (Butte) - 6'1", 200 lbs.


ADVANTAGE:

The East decided to load up on defensive lineman with five kids currently slated to rotate in at the position. Bryce Depping is the lone Class AA player for the East at defensive end. Bryce was also a solid TE and standout basketball player for CMR and I wouldn't be surprised if he got reps to spell Logan Kennedy on Saturday. The two Class A kids are Ely Kraft of Laurel and Ryan Wyman of Sidney. Ely earned multiple All-State selections during his high school career while Ryan had a standout senior season for the Eagles. Derek Simmons of Fairfield is similar to Bryce as both were standout TE's and basketball players as well as defensive ends. Chance Larson of Wibaux rounds out the group. All five of these kids have similar size and skill sets so all should be interchangeable in where they play. In my opinion, Kraft and Larson are the best of the group and would be my selections to start.

The West added Zach Pletcher of Columbia Falls to the roster as Ethan Baines of Kalispell Glacier decided to only play in the Badlands Bowl. Pletcher is joined by Alaric Greil of Helena Capital and Rylan Waananen of Butte. Greil may also see significant time on the inside depending on what type of defense Coack Mike Cutler wants to run. Waananen had a standout senior season for the Bulldogs and gives the West a good pass-rushing trio of defensive ends.

Greil was the lone player on my Top 50. Overall, this defensive end group includes just a bunch of sound football players that may not have a ton of flash to their game but always get the job done. I don't really like the East's matchup against the West tackles while I think the West ends have a good chance of succeeding against the East tackles. I give the edge to the West.

Advantage: West
Last edited by VimSince03 on Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: 2019 Shrine Game Breakdown - Defense

Post by VimSince03 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:30 am

Inside Linebackers

Selections

East: Brody Grebe (Roundup) - 6'2", 210 lbs.
East: Wes Jameson (Lewistown) - 6'2", 200 lbs.
East: JJ Lindsay (Billings West) - 5'10", 180 lbs.
West: Mike Golden (Hamilton) - 5'10", 160 lbs.
West: Tanner Gove (Columbia Falls) - 5'10", 250 lbs.
West: Spencer Jones (Florence/Carlton) - 6'1", 205 lbs.


ADVANTAGE:

All three of the East MLB selections made my Top 50 with the star of the show being Brody Grebe. Jameson and Lindsay both starred in the Badlands Bowl game while Brody helped the Montana squad in the Montana/Wyoming all-star basketball series. All three are excellent middle backers with the ability to be effective sideline to sideline. Brody is the best of the group due to his ability to slip blocks and get into the opponents backfield. Lindsay brings a ton of energy and good speed to the group. JJ was added to the roster after Max Evenson elected not to play after his performance in the Badlands Bowl. Wes brings a physical presence who can take on blocks effectively and wash out interior run plays. I think all three will have success against the West interior offensive line...and they will need to be because Blake Counts and Colten McPhee do not go down easily.

The West includes two Class A All-Staters in Michael Golden and Tanner Gove along with Class B stalwart Spencer Jones. Golden is the smallest of the unit but is one of the best defensive players playing in this game in my opinion. His college prospects for football were never going to be great due to his size but he is a hitter. Gove brings above average size to the West side as he and Colten McPhee made a ton of tackles over the past two years for Columbia Falls. Gove was also a star offensive lineman for the Wildcats. Spencer Jones is an underrated linebacker from Florence/Carlton. Spencer dominated in the Class B All-Star game and won defensive MVP for the game.

I think the West has some solid players in this group but the East has stars. Everyone is very excited to watch Brody Grebe play in a football game and I believe the East has the clear advantage over the West at this position.

Advantage: East
Last edited by VimSince03 on Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: 2019 Shrine Game Breakdown - Defense

Post by VimSince03 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:33 am

Outside Linebackers

Selections

East: Kade Wilcox (Billings West) - 6'0", 190 lbs.
East: JR Seewald (Cut Bank) - 6'0", 200 lbs.
East: Ty Bradley (Colstrip) - 5'10", 180 lbs.
West: Alex Johnson (Helena High) - 6'2", 185 lbs.
West: Landers Smith (Charlo) - 6'0", 195 lbs.
West: Ryan Tirrell (Missoula Loyola) - 6'2", 210 lbs.


ADVANTAGE:

The East features a versatile AA player in Kade Wilcox and two excellent Class B wrestlers in JR Seewald of Cut Bank and Ty Bradley of Colstrip. Kade lined up all over the place for Billings West last fall as he can also add depth at corner and safety. JR is the most physical defender of the group who will get to showcase his tackling ability. JR is a similar player to Brody Grebe as he's tough to block and can really run with TE's in coverage. Ty Bradley is the smallest of the outside linebackers but, as usual, it doesn't affect his game as he is an excellent tackler and run defender.

The West OLB's is the most talented group of any of the position groups playing in this game. All three players listed are in my Top 20 with Johnson and Tirrell in my Top 10. Michael Nehring of Manhattan, another Top 50 player, was also a selection but he declined to play. Anyway, you can find write-ups of all three players in my Top 50 evals. As for this game, the East is going to have their hands full figuring out how to minimize the impact all three of these players will have on this game. All three are good in coverage, great against the run, and dangerous at rushing the passer. Will be a fun group to watch.

I have the same conclusion for this West group as I did for the middle linebackers of the East group. The West has the clear advantage at outside linebacker this Saturday.

Advantage: West
Last edited by VimSince03 on Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: 2019 Shrine Game Breakdown - Defense

Post by VimSince03 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:36 am

Cornerbacks

Selections

East: Cason Taylor (CMR) - 5'10", 160 lbs.
East: Kyle Torgerson (Great Falls High) - 5'10", 160 lbs.
East: John Waddell (Livingston) - 6'0", 180 lbs.
East: Duncan Kraft (Billings Central) - 5'10", 180 lbs.
West: Jace DeWalt (Missoula Sentinel) - 5'11", 170 lbs.
West: Kale McCarthy (Butte) - 6'1", 160 lbs.
West: Drew Morgan (Columbia Falls) - 6'2", 190 lbs.
West: Zach Spriroff (Helena High) - 5'9", 175 lbs.


ADVANTAGE:

The East cornerback group doesn't have a ton of length with 6'0", 180 lb. John Waddell being the tallest corner. But overall its a good group of cover corners. Kyle Torgerson is the star of the group who, despite his size, can match up with any receiver regardless of size. He is also outstanding against the run. Kraft and Waddell aren't far behind Kyle. Kraft ran for over 1,500 yards for Billings Central his senior season but you could argue he made a bigger impact on defense. Waddell was the star QB for Park High School in Livingston and he had several 500+ total yard games. He played primarily safety during high school but he is slated to let it loose at corner on Saturday. Chrishon Dixon declined to play after playing in the Badlands Bowl so Cason Taylor of CMR replaced him. Cason is a good cover corner who will likely take on some of the faster players for the West on the outside.

The West corner group features three AA kids in Jace DeWalt, Kale McCarthy, and Zach Spiroff along with Drew Morgan of Columbia Falls. Cade Briggs of Whitehall was an original selection for the West but was replaced by McCarthy of Butte. Spiroff is the star of the group and plays a similar style to Kyle Torgerson. Zach was my #3 corner in the state for 2019 and he played like it in the Badlands Bowl, winning defensive MVP. DeWalt was a late PWO addtion to the 2019 Griz recruiting class and Jace polished off his high school career with a great track season. He can run with any receiver the East rolls out there on Saturday. McCarthy is the long, thinly built corner out of Butte who succeeds on the outside covering taller receivers. I expect to see either him or Drew Morgan go up against Ryan Simpson. Morgan finishes off the quarter, moving down from his safety position where he played in high school along with QB.

Like the receivers, both of these groups are similar and not a lot separates them. However, I like the West's length and athletic ability just a little bit more so I give them the slight edge.

Advantage: West
Last edited by VimSince03 on Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: 2019 Shrine Game Breakdown - Defense

Post by VimSince03 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:39 am

Safeties

Selections

East: Tucker Greenwell (CMR) - 6'1", 185 lbs.
East: Ryder Meyer (Fairfield) - 5'10", 165 lbs.
East: Willy Leep (Bozeman) - 6'1", 185 lbs.
West: Cade Holter (Butte Central) - 6'0", 180 lbs.
West: Kameron Rauser (Townsend) - 5'10", 170 lbs.


ADVANTAGE:

If Lucas Gibb would've played in this game (he declined after playing in the Badlands Bowl), the East trio of safeties would have been a Top 3 group in terms of overall talent. However, Gibb was replaced by Willy Leep of Bozeman who has good size and range. The two starters will be Fairfield star Ryder Meyer and 3x AA All-State safety Tucker Greenwell. Ryder was my #11 overall player in the Class of 2019 while Tucker was part of the "first five out" group in my final Top 50. Both have a ton of range in coverage so Norslien and Byorth better not float a ton of deep balls because these two can close and play the ball very well. Ryder is excellent in the run game despite his size while Tucker can get the job done as he's a sure tackler. Tucker also gives Coach Les Meyer a star special teamer as Greenwell has been a stalwart cover guy for years at CMR. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Ryder or Tucker play some offense.

The original West selections included Blaise Meriwether of Missoula Sentinel and Randy Stultz of Bigfork but both declined to play. The only safety replacement ended up being Cade Holter of Butte Central but I'm assuming Drew Morgan will play some safety as well. Meriwether was a Top 50 player while Stultz was part of the "first five out" group. The last original selection was Kameron Rauser of Townsend. Rauser is a good athlete to have in the back end for the West as he also has good range in coverage and a solid nose for the ball in the run game. He was a talented WR in high school as well. Holter primarily played QB for Butte Central but he's another good athlete who should be able to make some good reads at safety.

Overall, Holter and Rauser don't have the same talent as Meyer and Greenwell. Rauser is close but Meyer and Greenwell have a ton of experience playing the deep middle. A fun matchup to watch will be those three athletic West QBs going up against the East safeties.

Advantage: East


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